Bolton Wanderers Under-18’s continued their impressive recent form to record a 4-0 triumph over Sheffield United at the Eddie Davies Football Academy on Saturday.
Goals from Callum Spooner, Jack Everest and a brace for Alex Samizadeh secured a sixth win in seven games to move David Lee’s side up to fourth in the Professional Development League 2.
“I’m very pleased; especially in keeping a clean sheet,” Lee told LFE. “We held their pressure, didn’t concede and then as the game developed in the second half we had some good phases of play and scored some quality goals.”
The hosts almost almost broke the deadlock with less than five minutes on the clock as Tyrell Palmer reacted quickly to a long ball forward but he was denied in a one versus one situation by Blades keeper Aaron Ramsdale.
The visitors briefly threatened when Tyler Smith jinked down the right but his centre was headed over by Stephen Mallon. Harry Brockbank was then lucky to escape a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Mallon. And Bolton capitalised on that good fortune.
Talented striker Samizadeh was particularly lively and was rewarded with a goal on the stroke of half time – to continue his run of scoring at least a goal a game this season. The 16-year-old was released by central midfielder Jack Earing and his left-footed effort flew past Ramsdale to hand Bolton the advantage.
United rallied though and could have equalised moments after the restart. Mallon dashed down the left wing to tee-up Jordan Hallam but the midfielder fizzed his shot wide. The away side piled on the pressure and came close again as Harvey Gilmour’s corner landed at the feet of Joseph Cummings, who blasted over the bar.
And they were made to pay as a hopeful long ball by Everest resulted in a defensive mix-up, leaving the keeper stranded and Samizadeh the simple task of running the ball up to the goal line and casually tapping into the empty net for his 12th goal of the season.
Bolton increased their lead three minutes later as Palmer played in Spooner who calmly found the bottom left corner. The tireless Samizadeh tried in vain to grab his hat-trick goal but Wanderers did finish with the flourish of a fourth goal. Cole Lonsdale galloped down the left and his cut-back was expertly finished off by Everest.
“They played really well,” said a disappointed Travis Binnion, United’s youth team coach. “We didn’t take our chances and they took theirs. They dominated key spells of the game and that was it really.
“I thought our two wide players were excellent. They’ve created chances but we’ve not defended well enough. The whole team defensively weren’t quite at it today and you’ve got to give Bolton some credit for that.”